Joshua Generation – Part 6
Joshua 1:2-3 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
DARAK (“tread”) – “Take up your weapons and fight!” – command still used with Israeli army today – “every place that you FIGHT FOR, I will give you”
Joshua 3:3-4 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
TRANSITIONS are difficult, but transitions are necessary if we are to be all that God has called us to be. The people of Israel have been landless for nearly five hundred years, and now God says – “Take the land.” And it is at this point in their history that God begins to transition His people from a nomadic culture and a slavery complex to a nation of conquering warriors. Wandering and bondage have been in their DNA for five centuries – that is all they have ever known.
But you can’t act like wanderers and think like slaves and function like conquerors at the same time!
God is not transitioning them (or us!) to a place where there are no more battles, but to a place where the battles are more STRATEGIC – and therefore the results are more SIGNIFICANT, influential and eternal.
There was a long list of enemies that could have prevented Israel from entering into their Promised Land – Amalekites, Ammonites, Amorites, Canaanites, Edomites, Gebalites, Geshurites, Gibeonites, Girgashites, Girzites, Hittites, Hivites, Horites, Jebusites, Kenites, Moabites, Perizzites.
That’s why God told Israel to DRIVE THEM ALL OUT!
Numbers 33:51-53 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
God is saying “I will shake the devil loose” IF YOU WILL FIGHT FOR IT!
Joshua is now about 100 years old, and Caleb is 85 years old …
Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
The Lord tells Joshua (13:6) “include even this unconquered territory when you divide up the land between the tribes – they will have to fight for it, but I will give it to them in spite of the giants they face!”
Joshua 14:11-12 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
Caleb knew what he wanted: 'Give me this mountain.' He didn't ask for an easy job – it was the hilliest territory in the land and infested by giants. Israel's enemies were strongest here! It was the most difficult part of the whole Promised Land to subdue and Caleb at 85 said 'Give me that!' Caleb feared no foe and desired no rest. He knew God would fight for him!
Why Hebron? This area had been the home of Abraham for many years, and it was there that he purchased the cave of Machpelah for a burial place. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are all buried there. It is Caleb’s heritage that is overrun by the enemy – and he wants it back!
Caleb had walked hundreds of miles through the land of Canaan and back again. His feet had trod on the whole country. Of all the territory that could have been his for the asking, why did he pick Hebron? Precisely because there were giants (Anakims) there! Forty years before, these giants had terrified his fellow scouts when they spied out the land. “We look like grasshoppers in their eyes,” the ten spies had whimpered. But Joshua and Caleb had said, “Bring them on – they are no match for the Lord our God!” Forty years later (at 85!) Caleb is still spoiling for a fight!
Because of a recent shift in demographics due to increased lifespans, we now have a science called Gerontology, which studies the aging process. Aging is a combination of biological changes that appear to occur inevitably and irreversibly with the passage of time, eventually resulting in death.
God does not forsake his people when they grow old, but He helps them through the aging process.
Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Our personal aging process changes us; however, THE BODY OF CHRIST IS NOT A HUMAN BODY LIKE YOURS. It remains unchanged by human condition; only our perception of it changes!
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
THE HUMAN SENSES (HEARING, SIGHT) AND STRENGTH FADE WITH INCREASING AGE. In the church, we can be guilty of thinking that any appeal of the ministry or the Spirit is for someone else, not us – we don’t see with clear vision or hear what the Spirit is saying!
THE AGING BODY SUFFERS AN INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF CHRONIC DISEASES. Disease appears sporadically throughout life, but the elderly are especially susceptible to chronic debilitating disease. These are like people in the church who can’t get over what happened in the past.
THE HUMAN BODY EVENTUALLY LOSES ITS ABILITY TO BEGET CHILDREN. Years in church culture leave us isolated from evangelism; we must guard against the temptation to turn the church into an institution that ministers only to us, while ignoring the unsaved!
THE AGING BODY SUFFERS A MARKED DECREASE IN FLEXIBILITY.
Joints ache as they wear out from years of friction and arthritis develops; people slow down due to pain. In the church, the “joints” are people working together – we must be tolerant of one another!
THE HUMAN BODY EVENTUALLY GROWS WEAKER AND ADAPTS TO ITS LIMITATIONS. Your body grows weaker as it bears the scars of a lifetime, but the body of Christ is forever young! Its only limitations are imposed by your mindset. The Head of the church has no limitations!
Joshua 24:27-28 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
If these walls could talk … they’ve heard everything the Lord has spoken to us about our future … they’ve seen the powerful moves of His Spirit … and they’ve heard our prayers for revival and our prayers of commitment …
THERE REMAINETH YET VERY MUCH LAND TO BE POSSESSED!
GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN!
In Valladolid, Spain stands a monument to Christopher Columbus. Its most interesting feature is the statue of a lion destroying one of three Latin words – three words that had been part of Spain's motto for centuries.
On his first voyage in 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed through unknown waters to an unknown destination. Before his voyage, Spain's standards carried three words in Latin. The same words were written on the left edge of the maps of that day. Even the “Pillars of Hercules” (huge rocky cliffs) that guarded the Straits of Gibraltar carried the same three words, chiseled into stone: "NE PLUS ULTRA – No More Beyond."
While the world was convinced there was nothing more beyond, Columbus was not. His ships returned and the discovery of a land of wealth and opportunity "beyond" marked the dawn of a new age. The world was forever changed, so much so that the king of Spain changed the motto of the land to read as it does today. That’s why one word on the monument is shown being torn away by the lion making it: "PLUS ULTRA – More Beyond!"